Campus & Community / Magazine Feature

Health officials continue to monitor stomach virus

Denver health department officials have declared the University of Denver campus safe after students reported symptoms including vomiting and diarrhea. Since April 13, a total of 84 students have reported ill.

Health officials say a Norovirus caused the stomach flu that affected 84 of the University’s more than 11,000 students. The virus is spread by direct contact with contaminated surfaces, people, food or other objects. It is not spread through coughing or sneezing. It is not life threatening and symptoms generally pass within 12 to 36 hours.

Dr. Sam Alexander, executive director of DU’s Health and Counseling Center (HCC), says he is working with the Denver health department to monitor cases and to help track the origin. The number of students seen at HCC and Porter Adventist Hospital has dropped during the week.

Here are the daily numbers reported since Sunday:

Sunday – Monday (5:30 p.m.):              28 students
Monday – Tuesday (5:30 p.m.):            24 students
Tuesday – Wednesday (5:30 p.m.):      18 students
Wednesday – Thursday (5:30 p.m.):    14 students

The best way to prevent further spread of the virus is regular hand washing and cleaning with disinfectants, Alexander says. Students, faculty and staff should not attempt to clean up after ill individuals, he advises. Instead, they may call for a building supervisor, residence hall adviser or Campus Safety, who can assist in contacting the proper custodian. DU is deep cleaning common areas at all facilities to prevent new cases and is providing sanitizing wipes in residence halls.

Denver health officials inspected Centennial Halls, the residence where many of the ill students live and eat, and found no food contamination or violations of food handling protocols. Inspectors say it is safe for students, faculty and staff to live, work and eat at DU.

DU and the Denver health department have distributed flyers with additional information across campus. Students may also contact HCC at 303-871-2205 or visit the center’s Web site at HCC hours are weekdays 7:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m., and Saturdays 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. After hours, call Campus Safety at 303-871-3000.

Read other stories about the student illnesses:
Officials declare DU campus safe, identify stomach virus
DU still looking for cause of student illnesses
Officials investigating cause of student illnesses

Comments are closed.